College football is right around the corner and so is the heated debate about the BCS. If we explore the arguments of both extremes to determining the best team in college football, we can finally see which system is better the BCS or a true playoff system.
The main argument is that the BCS does not allow they players to determine their own fate, like in an organized playoff system, however, their destiny is essentially decided by a computer. Critics pout because the associated press and the coaches, people who are do not play in the games; determine who the best college football team is. To clarify how the BCS computer system works, consider this:
The BCS is comprised of five parts: The average ranking in the AP and ESPN coach's poll, an average ranking of the best six of seven computer polls, the number of losses, strength of schedule (SOS) factor, and a quality wins (QW) factor.
After understanding exactly how the BCS works, it is clear that these five parts are actually formatted to that the two best teams play each other. For example in the eight years of the BCS, No. 1 played No. 2 five times, while the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams met only eight times in bowl games in the 57 seasons between 1936 and 1992. It is more reasonable to have the two best teams play each other, rather see if an underdog can upset them in the spotlight. If they are No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, it is likely that they have already proven to be better than these underdogs anyway. So open your eyes; the playoff system at this level is not fundamentally sound or healthy.
Playoffs at the Division one level would be detrimental to the draft status of players. First of all let’s not forget that players at this level are student athletes that are already playing 11 or 12 games. If a playoff system was used, the amount of games would increase and so would the possibility of injury.
Think about this: the team that goes the farthest in the playoff system usually has the best players, but those best players would be playing so much that they would be more likely to become injured, thus hurting their draft status. For instance, Willis MaGahee, a top ten draft pick, was selected 23rd overall because he was injured in the 2003 national championship game against Ohio State. If more players like MaGahee had to play through a playoff system, opposing safeties would have more opportunities to take shots at his knees, giving them a better opportunity to win the game and advance to the next round. A playoff system does not cater to the future of these young men who are NFL prospects. On the other hand, the BCS caters to these prospects, as well as to the players whose football career ends after their last college game.
The BCS is a great method to provide meaningful season ending opportunities for players, coaches, fans, and teams that otherwise would be sent home on a sour note in a playoff system. The season ending bowls have provided countless last second comebacks, miracles, and have made stars legends. Of course, the same can happen in a playoff system but if, say Doug Flutie pulled his last second miracle in a first round playoff game, then lost in the next round of the playoffs, would he still be a legend? I don’t think so.
The BCS is not a playoff system. And it should stay that way. It is nothing more than an attempt to match the No. 1 and No. 2 teams and to create exciting match-ups in four other bowl games. Let’s stop arguing about the credibility of the system and trust that it is in place for a reason, because it works, it saves NFL prospects careers, and gives opportunities for all to shine. Nuff said.